‘Grateful to be alive’: Diver who almost got run over by boat says he’s learned his lesson
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Oahu diver nearly run over by a boat admits that it was his fault.
Christopher Lastra, 30, was spearfishing off Magic Island on Thursday morning when video shows that within seconds he ducked out of the way of a speeding boat.
“It could have been worse, “said Lastra.
“I’m grateful to be alive, I think God was definitely watching over me”
It was only his fin that got sliced up by the boat’s propeller.
“So, in that split second, I was just thinking bad decision,” said Lastra. “But last week, I lost my buoy in the current so decided I would go without a buoy.”
“And thinking it’d be OK, but obviously, was not.”
U.S. Coast Guard Diving Supervisor of the Honolulu Sector, Kendall Smith, said dive flags or buoys could prevent close calls and even save lives.
But when it comes to safety on the ocean, he said both boaters and divers need to know the rules.
“Like in this instance, he’s very lucky to be alive,” said Smith.
“Secondly, I noticed in that video he was by himself. You should always dive with a buddy, have a plan and hope for the best but always be prepared for a scary instance like that.”
Smith also said under state laws dive flags must be displayed while snorkeling, spearfishing, or diving.
“If someone was diving, or had a diver down flag, it’s a no wake zone for 200 yards outside of that diver down flag or buoy,” said Smith.
Lastra has been diving for over 10 years.
He’s originally from California, where he said there is no law requiring a dive buoy. But he said after this incident, he learned his lesson.
“Your life flashes before your eyes you when you face death, but for me, I was just thinking I’m an idiot,” said Lastra. “I should have had a buoy out here. I knew the law and I just decided not to bring it.”
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